Larger Michigan show returns in September

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Organizers of the Metro Boat Show, which returns Sept. 14-17 to the Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township, Mich., said the event’s land space will increase by 20 percent from last year.

The Michigan Boating Industries Association, which produces the show, said the floorplan expanded greatly last year, growing the show into a second marina at the Metropark.

New 2018 product launches will debut at the show this year, including a 30-foot Cobia featuring an innovative new side door that allows easy access for hauling in the catch of the day, diving and boarding off the dock. The SeaRay SLX 400, also known as “The Entertainer,” also will be on display.

“Great boating weather, low gas prices, innovation and a steady economy have led to another great boating season here in Michigan,” show manager and MBIA executive director Nicki Polan said in a statement. “It’s a great time to buy a boat, and we’re hearing from our dealers that this year, more than ever, new boaters are entering the market.”

The MBIA said the boating industry continues to ride a wave of success in Michigan. In 2016 new boat, motor, trailer and accessory purchases grew nearly 9 percent, totaling $8.7 million — the seventh year of consecutive growth in the state.

The recreational boating industry has an annual economic impact of $7.4 billion in Michigan and employs nearly 40,000, the National Marine Manufacturers Association said.